Sun, 03 March 2024
The Daily Ittefaq

Dhaka’s air most polluted in the world this morning

Update : 05 Feb 2024, 10:02

In a concerning environmental update, Dhaka has been identified as the city with the world's worst air quality. As of the morning of February 5, 2024, the Air Quality Index (AQI) score in Dhaka soared to a staggering 538, categorizing the city's air as 'hazardous'. This classification indicates severe health risks for the city's residents, underlining a growing environmental crisis.

Following Dhaka in the global ranking for poor air quality are Accra in Ghana, Mumbai in India, and Kathmandu in Nepal, with AQI scores of 336, 181, and 174 respectively. These figures highlight a pressing need for international attention towards air pollution and its health implications.

The AQI, a vital tool for gauging air pollution, measures the air's cleanliness or pollution level and potential health impacts. In Bangladesh, the AQI assesses air quality based on concentrations of particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and ozone.

Air quality is deemed 'unhealthy for sensitive groups' when AQI values range from 101 to 150. It escalates to 'unhealthy' between 150 and 200, 'very unhealthy' from 201 to 300, and 'hazardous' at levels above 301. Dhaka's alarming AQI of 538 signifies a critical health hazard, emphasizing the urgent need for remedial measures.

Dhaka's battle with air pollution is longstanding, with air quality deteriorating to unhealthy levels during winter, only to see slight improvements with the onset of the monsoon season. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that air pollution is responsible for an estimated seven million deaths globally each year, primarily due to increased risks of stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and acute respiratory infections.

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